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When the chips were down, basketball strengthened Troy Rike’s resolve

Troy Rike probably never imagined how turbulent his life would be when he first stepped foot in the Philippines last May 24, 2018.

The Wake Forest University alumnus experienced the highs of playing for Gilas in the 2018 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament and his enrollment in the National University, alongside the low of his eligibility for UAAP Season 81 being disputed.

However, the worst was yet to come for Rike.

After the NU Bulldogs lost to the De La Salle Green Archers last September 19, the Filipino-American student-athlete was detained by the Bureau of Immigration for 24 hours after it questioned his lack of a student visa.

“It’s tough. I mean it’s been stressful since August really. It’s been quite the process.

“I mean I definitely felt it during the Ateneo game. Today, it was a little bit better. I was just happy to play basketball. That’s all I want to do,” commented the Masters in Education student after the Adamson University Soaring Falcons handed the Bulldogs their third consecutive loss in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

UAAP-81-NU-vs-DLSU-troy-rike When the chips were down, basketball strengthened Troy Rike's resolve Basketball News NU UAAP  - philippine sports news

Rike, who’s a dual citizen, shared that he still hasn’t shaken off the trauma of being arrested. “It will be a while until it’s one-hundred percent completely off,” he said.

“My entire life, I found joy and love in the game of basketball, so when I’m out there I just try to focus on that.”

The ordeal has left the 6-foot-7 big man with more questions than answers about his case. The 22-year-old shared that those who apprehended him did not disclose who in particular sought for his detention, saying, “I believe they said the public was their answer. That’s kind of a dangerous precedent if we can just report people and get them arrested, but that’s what they said.

“I’m not trying to go after anyone. I just want to be left alone.”

With Rike literally on the floor because of this incident, those around him did not hesitate to help with his predicament. “Everyone’s been very supportive. I can’t thank my teammates, my management, my coaches (enough). Everyone was there for me. That means the world. There’s a lot of good people here so I really appreciate that.”

The one thing that Rike has reiterated time and time again is how his love of basketball motivates him to put this incident behind him. He will no doubt experience more setbacks on and off the court, but no one will be able to stop him from fulfilling his ambitions.

“I love the Philippines. I’ve said that the minute I came here. I want to make the country proud and no one’s gonna stop me from following my dream.”

#ReadMore  Arianne Vallestero picks up 3rd HR as top seed Adamson holds off also-ran UE
Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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